Small Business SEO Series Part 1 – Keyword Research and Tracking System Setup

The Small Business SEO series is a three part series that identifies and briefly explains the key components of a successful small business SEO campaign. Part 1 in this series deals with keyword research and tracking systems. Parts 2 and 3 deal with on-page optimization of websites and off-page factors respectively.

In recent years, Small Business SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, has emerged as the most popular and powerful marketing option for small and medium sized businesses. The reason for this is obvious, SEO done competently and regularly can provide the highest return on investment of any other type of marketing available to the small businessperson. As the pace of technology increases more and more people are going to the internet and search engines for shopping and research. Other types of “traditional” small business advertising such as newspapers, yellow page advertising, newsletters, brochures, and magazine placements have seen a sharp decline in ROI and effectiveness in recent years. Small businesspeople have recognized this and are spending more and more of their marketing time and budget on SEO and other types of internet marketing. This article discusses in general terms the process involved in running an effective SEO campaign.

A succuessfull small business SEO campaign generally begins with keyword research. This step, through lack of knowledge of it’s importance, is sometimes not given a lot of attention by seo newbies. SEO Professionals know that spending some time research is absolutely mandatory and will pay-off in terms of better results and ROI. Keyword research is basically the process of identifying the keywords that it makes the most sense to target in the SEO campaign. The first step in keyword research is to identify all the keywords that could be used for a particular business. After this, an analysis should be made of the competition for this keyword as well as potential search traffic. The end result of this analysis is to identify the keywords that have good traffic and and low competition. In SEO terms these are called the “low hanging fruit” and will be the words that are targeted and which the rest of the SEO campaign is focused upon. There are a variety of tools and software programs for performing this research and analysis. The Google AdWords keyword tool is a free tool that can be very useful for identifying keywords and analyzing competition. People in the SEO community utilize a variety of paid software for keyword analysis.

The next step is to determine baseline traffic and rankings and to setup some type of way to track results and improvements in rankings and traffic from seo efforts. Most web hosting providers provide a free statistics program as part of their service. Google analytics is also a free program that can be used to measure and track traffic and web analytics. Either way, some type of analytics program should be put in place to measure and track traffic increases and measure the success of the SEO campaign. In addition search engine positioning can and should be tracked and monitored. There are some free tools available for this but the most effective tools are paid tools such as Rank Tracker which are used by SEO professionals.

After the initial keyword research is completed, the highest potential keywords chosen, and traffic and rankings measurement systems are in place then the then the next step of the next step of the SEO campaign can be begun. The next step in a typical SEO campaign, on page optimization, is discussed in the Part 2 of this series.

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